Survey: Other States Benefited from Atlantic City Shutdown
The casinos in Atlantic City, NJ were closed down on July 5 through July 7, 2006 due to a temporary state budget impasse. Only one in 10 (9%) gamblers in New Jersey and surrounding states had made specific plans to go gambling in Atlantic City on those dates(1), but of those who did, 13 percent decided to go Connecticut to gamble instead. Three percent went to a casino in Delaware and three percent to Las Vegas, while about half (49%) of gamblers with plans to go to Atlantic City simply cancelled their plans and stayed home. These are some of the results of an online survey of 1,386 U.S. adults (ages 21 years and over) conducted by Harris Interactive(R) between July 7 and 10, 2006. The survey included residents of the states of Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia who have been to Atlantic City, New Jersey in the past 12 months for the purpose of gambling at a casino. The casino shutdown resulted from a temporary state budget impasse between New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, who wanted to raise the income tax in New Jersey to close a $4.5 billion budget gap, and Democrats in the State Legislature, led by Assembly Speaker Roberts, who do not want to raise taxes. Because of this impasse, no budget was passed and the state temporarily closed all "nonessential" government offices, including the Casino Control Commission, the agency responsible for regulating gambling in Atlantic City. The casinos in Atlantic City were closed from July 5th through July 7th. A vast majority (86%) of respondents say they were aware of the shutdown, and 78% of those aware blamed the New Jersey State Legislature for the closure. This shutdown could have lasting effects for Atlantic City in some gamblers' minds, as 22 percent report that this closure had a negative or very negative impact on their opinions of Atlantic City.